blackbird


blackbird
/blak"berrd'/, n.
1. a common European thrush, Turdus merula, the male of which is black with a yellow bill.
2. any of several American birds of the family Icteridae, having black plumage. Cf. crow blackbird, red-winged blackbird, rusty blackbird.
3. any of several other unrelated birds having black plumage in either or both sexes.
4. (formerly) a person, esp. a Kanaka, who was kidnapped and sold abroad, usually in Australia, as a slave.
v.t.
5. to kidnap (a person), as in blackbirding.
v.i.
6. to engage in blackbirding.
[1480-90; earlier blacke bride. See BLACK, BIRD]

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In the New World, any of several species of songbirds in the family Icteridae, collectively called icterids; also, an Old World thrush (Turdus merula, family Turdidae).

The best known icterid is the red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), which ranges from Canada to the West Indies and Central America. It is 8 in. (20 cm) long, and the male's black plumage is set off by red shoulder patches. The Old World blackbird, 10 in. (25 cm) long, is common in woods and gardens throughout temperate Eurasia as well as in Australia and New Zealand. See also grackle.

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bird
 in the New World, any of several species belonging to the family Icteridae (order Passeriformes); also, an Old World thrush (Turdus merula). The Old World blackbird is 25 centimetres (10 inches) long; males are black and females brown, with orange bill and eye-rims. Common in woods and gardens throughout temperate Eurasia and established also in Australia and New Zealand, it resembles the American robin in general behaviour.

 The best known icterid of this name is the red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), ranging from Canada to the West Indies and Central America. It is 20 cm long, and the male's black plumage is set off by red shoulder patches. All-black icterids in North America are the rusty blackbird (Euphagus carolinus) and Brewer's blackbird (E. cyanocephalus). The red-breasted blackbird (Leistes militaris), common over most of South America, is one of the so-called military blackbirds (also called, erroneously, starlings), or marshbirds. For species also grouped with them, see meadowlark. For crow-blackbird, see grackle.
 

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Universalium. 2010.

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